When faced with the hospital waiting room, it's important to have an emergency bag full of things you'll need during an impromptu hospital stay.
10 Items to Have In Your Emergency Bag

Contributed By Dawn Allcot

If you’re a caregiver, you never know when a midnight emergency room visit will result in hours in the emergency room waiting area or even a hospital stay for your loved one. Likewise, if you’re a caregiver who lives apart from your aging parent, you never know when you’ll be called to stay the night in their home. In either of these scenarios, having an emergency bag packed in advance saves time and energy. Here are 10 things to keep in your emergency bag. Keep your emergency bag in your car at all times so you will always be prepared for any contingency, wherever you are.

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This hospital room, complete with a hospital bed, TV, and nice view, will be more enjoyable when you follow our hospital checklist.
Your Hospital Checklist for Checking Into Surgery

Contributed by Christine Binney

There’s no doubt about it; heading into surgery is scary. Even if you have a trusted doctor, great statistics for success and a strong network of support, surgery is still extremely nerve-wracking. The good news is that being well prepared to check into the hospital can help alleviate much of your anxiety. Use this handy hospital checklist so you can feel confident and prepared when checking into surgery.

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It's important to get the vital information to the right people when crisis hits.
Vital Information: What Caregivers Need to Know

Contributed by Haley Burress

If something happens to your loved one that requires medical professionals to rush into your home, are you confident that vital information such as Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) orders or personal contact information are easily available for a paramedic to grab on the way out of the door? Having medical and emergency information in a central location of the home is extremely important when someone has complex medical issues that might require emergency care. Whether you are preparing this vital information for your elderly parents or for your medically complex child, here is what you need to know.

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With a handful of medications that may not be up-to-date, it's time to take the Medicine Cabinet Clean-out Challenge.
Medicine Cabinet Clean-Out Guide

Contributed by Nathan McVeigh

Now that National Public Health Week is in full swing (April 6-12), we are calling attention to a hidden safety hazard likely found within the home of caregivers and patients—namely, what’s inside the medicine cabinet. It is easy to overlook safety concerns inside a medicine cabinet considering the contents typically aim to heal and cure. That’s why it’s important to fully understand the medications your loved ones take, how to store them securely, and how to dispose of them properly.

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Parents hiking with their special needs child and his sibling.
How to Help a Parent with a Special Needs Child

Contributed by Dawn Allcot

Having a special needs child offers special blessings, along with special challenges. If you’ve been watching a friend struggle with a child with autism, Down’s Syndrome, Muscular Dystrophy or any other condition, you may be unsure how to help.

Guess what? Most parents of special needs children could use the same kind of help as other parents:  a healthy meal delivered to lighten their weekday cooking load, daily housekeeping, weekly grocery delivery, or just an ear to listen when they need a friend.

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Two friends sitting by the river. One of them leaning on the other because they are helping a friend through illness.
Helping a Friend through Illness

Contributed by Tiffany Silverberg

Helping a friend through illness is something many of us face numerous times throughout our lives. When our friends start to feel unwell or receive a diagnosis, our first instinct is to help. Many of us don’t qualify as medical professionals and thus feel at a loss as to how best to help. Here are a few ideas to get you started the next time you hear of a friend or loved one affected by an illness.

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A woman covers her face as she stresses over how to help someone with PTSD.
How to Help Someone with PTSD

Contributed by Christine Binney

Post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, is a mental health problem that can occur after a traumatic event. It can be hard for people to know how to help someone with PTSD because it is impossible to relate to their experience.  If you have a friend or family member who is suffering from PTSD, you know how difficult it is to see your loved one’s behavior change. It’s important to remember that the person suffering from PTSD doesn’t always have control over their behavior, so you should not take their actions personally. While it is a hard journey for all involved, there are ways that you can help get life back to the way it was before the trauma. Here is a short guide on how to help someone with PTSD.

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Everyone should ask, "What is a caregiver?" so they can identify caregivers in their lives and start helping them out.
What is a Caregiver?

The word itself is simply defined. The meaning is tucked right there in the word. A “caregiver” is a giver of care. Someone who provides support, help, or aid to another who needs it. They care for a loved one, a friend, a family member, or another person when that person can’t provide specific care for himself or herself. Caregivers are a diverse group – providing a wide variety of care in a variety of situations. Let’s take a step back and ask ourselves, “what is a caregiver?” Once we identify caregivers in our own lives, we can support them in their important work.

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How to Use Lotsa Series 4: Organizing Medical Information and Appointments

Whether you are caring for a loved one or supporting a caregiver with their tasks, keeping track of medical information and appointments can be a challenge. Organizing all the information you need in one place and keeping it accessible for everyone involved will bring peace of mind to a variety of situations and allow for seamless transitions between caregivers, medical professionals, and loved ones. Begin organizing medical information with these tips and bring a sense of calm to your caregiving.

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